CASE OF KLESHCHEVNIKOV AND OTHERS v. UKRAINE (European Court of Human Rights) 48458/13 and 2 others

The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention and of the lack of any effective remedy in domestic law. They also raised other complaints under the provisions of the Convention.


FIFTH SECTION
CASE OF KLESHCHEVNIKOV AND OTHERS v. UKRAINE
(Applications nos. 48458/13 and 2 others – see appended list)
JUDGMENT
STRASBOURG
29 September 2022

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Kleshchevnikov and Others v. Ukraine,

The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström, President,
Ivana Jelić,
Kateřina Šimáčková, judges,
and Viktoriya Maradudina, Acting Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 8 September 2022,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in applications against Ukraine lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on the various dates indicated in the appended table.

2. The Ukrainian Government (“the Government”) were given notice of the applications.

THE FACTS

3. The list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table.

4. The applicants complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention and of the lack of any effective remedy in domestic law. They also raised other complaints under the provisions of the Convention.

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

5. Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment.

II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLES 3 AND 13 OF THE CONVENTION

6. The applicants complained principally of the inadequate conditions of their detention and that they had no effective remedy in this connection. They relied on Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention, which read as follows:

Article 3

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Article 13

“Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in this Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority …”

7. The Court notes that the applicants were kept in detention in poor conditions. The details of the applicants’ detention are indicated in the appended table. The Court refers to the principles established in its case‑law regarding inadequate conditions of detention (see, for instance, Muršić v. Croatia [GC], no. 7334/13, §§ 96‑101, ECHR 2016). It reiterates in particular that a serious lack of space in a prison cell weighs heavily as a factor to be taken into account for the purpose of establishing whether the detention conditions described are “degrading” from the point of view of Article 3 and may disclose a violation, both alone or taken together with other shortcomings (see Muršić, cited above, §§ 122-41, and Ananyev and Others v. Russia, nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08, §§ 149‑59, 10 January 2012).

8. In the leading cases of Melnik v. Ukraine (no. 72286/01, 28 March 2006) and Sukachov v. Ukraine (no. 14057/17, 30 January 2020), the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.

9. Having examined all the material submitted to it, the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion on the admissibility and merits of these complaints. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court considers that in the instant case the applicants’ conditions of detention were inadequate.

10. The Court further notes that the applicants did not have at their disposal an effective remedy in respect of these complaints.

11. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention.

III. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS UNDER WELL-ESTABLISHED CASE-LAW

12. The applicants submitted other complaints which also raised issues under the Convention, given the relevant well-established case-law of the Court (see appended table). These complaints are not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention, nor are they inadmissible on any other ground. Accordingly, they must be declared admissible. Having examined all the material before it, the Court concludes that they also disclose violations of the Convention in the light of its findings in Kharchenko v. Ukraine (no. 40107/02, § 80, 10 February 2011), Tymoshenko v. Ukraine (no. 49872/11, §§ 286-87, 30 April 2013), Kotiy v. Ukraine (no. 28718/09, § 55, 5 March 2015) and Ignatov v. Ukraine (no. 40583/15, §§ 38-42, 15 December 2016).

IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

13. Article 41 of the Convention provides:

“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”

14. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case‑law (see, in particular, Sukachov, cited above, §§ 165 and 167), the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table.

15. The Court further considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,

1. Decides to join the applications;

2. Declares the applications admissible;

3. Holds that these applications disclose a breach of Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention concerning the inadequate conditions of detention and the lack of any effective remedy in domestic law;

4. Holds that there has been a violation of the Convention as regards the other complaints raised under well-established case-law of the Court (see appended table);

5. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts indicated in the appended table, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;

(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.

Done in English, and notified in writing on 29 September 2022, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Viktoriya Maradudina                Stéphanie Mourou-Vikström
Acting Deputy Registrar                        President

_____________

APPENDIX
List of applications raising complaints under Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention
(inadequate conditions of detention and lack of any effective remedy in domestic law)

No. Application no.
Date of introduction
Applicant’s name
Year of birth
Representative’s name and location Facility
Start and end date
Duration
Sq. m per inmate Specific grievances Other complaints under well-established case-law Amount awarded for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage per applicant

(in euros)[i]

Amount awarded for costs and expenses per application

(in euros)[ii]

1. 48458/13

16/07/2013

Denis Igorevich KLESHCHEVNIKOV

1981

Denis Fedorovich Bovtunov

Sevastopol

Donetsk Pre-Trial Detention Facility

21/04/2012

to

09/09/2013

1 year and 4 months and 20 days

2.3 m² lack of fresh air, infestation of cell with insects/rodents, poor quality of food, mouldy or dirty cell, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, overcrowding Art. 5 (3) – excessive length of pre-trial detention – from 10/04/2012 to 03/07/2013 on suspicion of fraud, non-violent crime; court detention orders contain general reasoning 5,000 250
2. 55040/20

30/11/2020

Mykola Sergiyovych CHEREDNICHENKO

1990

Andriy Vitaliyovych Pustyntsev

Dnipro

Cherkasy Pre-Trial Detention Facility

01/02/2019

pending

More than 3 years and 6 months and 19 days

1.9-5.8 m² lack of fresh air, lack of or insufficient electric light, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of toiletries, lack or insufficient quantity of food, no or restricted access to shower, overcrowding, poor quality of food, lack of privacy for toilet Art. 5 (3) – excessive length of pre-trial detention – 23/11/2018-pending,

Specific defects: use of assumptions, in the absence of any evidentiary basis, of the risks of absconding or obstructing justice, failure to examine the possibility of applying other measures of restraint,

 

Art. 5 (5) – lack of, or inadequate compensation, for the violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention – see Tymoshenko v. Ukraine, no. 49872/11, §§ 286-87, 30 April 2013 and Kotiy v. Ukraine, no. 28718/09, § 55, 5 March 2015

9,800 250
3. 55947/20

20/11/2020

Andriy Volodymyrovych SHEVCHENKO

1982

Andriy Vitaliyovych Pustyntsev

Dnipro

Cherkasy Pre-Trial Detention Facility

03/12/2018

pending

More than 3 years and 8 months and 17 days

1.9-4.4 m² infestation of cell with insects/rodents, lack of fresh air, lack of or inadequate hygienic facilities, lack of or insufficient physical exercise in fresh air, lack of or poor quality of bedding and bed linen, lack of privacy for toilet, lack or insufficient quantity of food, no or restricted access to shower, overcrowding, poor quality of food, passive smoking Art. 5 (3) – excessive length of pre-trial detention – from 29/11/2018 – pending, Specific defects: use of assumptions, in the absence of any evidentiary basis, of the risks of absconding or obstructing justice, failure to examine the possibility of applying other measures of restraint,

 

Art. 5 (5) – lack of, or inadequate compensation, for the violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention – see Tymoshenko v. Ukraine, no. 49872/11, §§ 286-87, 30 April 2013 and Kotiy v. Ukraine, no. 28718/09, § 55, 5 March 2015

9,800 250

[i] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.

[ii] Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.

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